Providing a rather depressing window into her true priorities last week, Vice President Kamala Harris emerged from a veritable period in hiding last week to visit California and publicly campaign for Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) amid the recall battle threatening his job, as the Washington Examiner reports.
Harris and Newsom appeared jointly at a rally in San Leandro on Wednesday in which they implored labor union constituents to assist in generating high turnout at the polls the following Tuesday so that the governor would prevail in the battle to recall him from office and put a Republican competitor in his place, according to ABC News.
During the event, Harris told the assembled crowd, “I came home for one purpose, it was really important for me to come home to stand and speak in support of my dear friend.”
Offering platitudes and generalizations, but little substance in her statement of support for Newsom, Harris added, “We want our leaders in California to have a vision of what is possible, to see the opportunity of a moment to inspire and uplift all people. That’s what the people of California have always wanted. And that’s why the Republicans’ recall will fail.”
Harris has for several weeks maintained a conspicuous absence from public appearances, interviews, and comment, even as the administration in which she serves finds itself facing unprecedented scrutiny and condemnation over matters including the chaotic and calamitous withdrawal from Afghanistan, concerns about rising inflation, and growing backlash over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate plan unveiled by President Joe Biden last week.
As such, her re-emergence before the media in California was noteworthy, though seasoned observers seemed to view it as something of a no-brainer for Democrats, given her prior popularity in the state as well as the potentially catastrophic consequences a Newsom loss in the recall race could have for the party, as GOP strategist Alex Conant told the Examiner.
Harris’ studied avoidance of any involvement that could closely link her to disasters such as Afghanistan as well as the ongoing crisis at the country’s southern border is a politically savvy approach, according to political science professor Charles Lipson, who said, “It makes good sense for her to stay in the background, both because she’s been quite unpopular…but it’s also the case that she doesn’t want to be in the position of overshadowing the president…”.
Critics of the administration tend to take a less charitable view of the situation, however, with Joe Concha of The Hill saying last month that “as things continue to to south for Team Biden, expect the pile-on to officially begin, with Harris inspiring very little confidence from an already disappointed public…once she’s actually allowed to speak without a prompter again.”
Try as she might to reclaim her spot in the national limelight by stumping for Newsom, Harris is likely to have something of an uphill battle when it comes to conquering the increasing perception that she is, in the words of the Examiner’s own Tiana Lowe, the “most useless” vice president in the last century and, as Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce put it, someone who is “doing everything she can to not do her job.”